Published May 22, 2023
 Written By:  Thomas Costello | WPSL Correspondent

As the WPSL grows in 2023, a constant for the upcoming season is the Red River Conference. In the group of five teams are 10 regular season championships and 30 years of WPSL experience. It features an intense rivalry, professional level support, and still includes newer success looking to repeat.

Here’s the Red River Conference.


In 2022, DKSC BADTOP joined a conference of strong experienced WPSL clubs and made its presence known. The Dallas-based club lost only once in the regular season, on its way to a Red River Conference championship game against the AHFC Royals of Houston, Texas.

Although BADTOP came up short, losing 2-1 in the conference title game, it was a 2022 season worthy of hardware. In eight matches, the club scored 18 goals, including a 4-0 and 3-0 shutout victory over 2023 conference opponents Oklahoma City FC and Southstar FC.

Now, with league restructuring, BADTOP can win its first WPSL trophy this season if it makes it to the top of the conference standings at the season’s end. Last year, the club accomplished it with a conference Coach of the Year and three Best XI selections.

A strong first season gives head Michael Bones’ side momentum for the second season, but it also means other teams know what BADTOP can bring to the field.

FC Dallas

Not far from last year’s Red River North winners is fellow Dallas side FC Dallas. In the same organization as the Major League Soccer FC Dallas franchise, the WPSL club brings eight years of league experience and three regular season titles into the 2023 season.

Last season, FC Dallas finished fourth in the conference with a 4-4 record, but in three of its losses, the margin of defeat was only a goal.

This season, FC Dallas can make up for that more difficult season but face an uphill climb to get there. The club plays its first seven games within three weeks, averaging a game every three days. In those seven matches, three are FC Dallas home games, where the club was undefeated last season.

SouthStar FC

In 2019, SouthStar FC, also out of the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area, entered the WPSL with a 4-4 record. Since then, league success has been hard to find, winning three in the past two seasons.

Following a last place showing, with a 1-7 record, in 2023, SouthStar is in a position to surprise the other four teams in the conference. Helping the club is knowledge of the other Dallas area sides.

This season, DKSC BADTOP and SouthStar FC held WPSL tryouts together, meaning that the talent pool has a chance to swing SouthStar’s way. Also, it gives the team a chance to know its opponents better for the 2023 season.

If SouthStar FC can surprise teams like it did with Oklahoma City FC last season, winning 3-1 in the second match of the season, it’ll mean a more competitive Red River Conference for 2023.

Oklahoma City FC

Speaking of Oklahoma City, not all the Red River fun is in Texas this season. Returning for a 15th season in the WPSL is one of two Oklahoma-based teams: Oklahoma City FC.

Last season, Oklahoma City FC started the year losing its first four matches of the season by a 13-2 margin. For a club with five regular-season WPSL titles in its trophy cabinet, this was a shock, but it didn’t last long.

In the final three matches of the season, Oklahoma City FC went 3-1, winning by a 9-1 margin in those victories. It showed a team that resembled the side folks expect when seeing the name Oklahoma City FC.

The 3-5 record put OKC in third place at the end of the season but two of those losses hurt a bit more. Oklahoma City FC gave up eight goals in two defeats to rival Tulsa Soccer Club.

Tulsa Soccer Club

The 2022 Red River North conference was a two-team race. Going toe-to-toe with DKSC BADTOP was Tulsa Soccer Club.

In three seasons of WPSL play, Tulsa already won two conference titles and the expansion BADTOP slipped past the former champions in a razor-thin margin between first and second place.

Tulsa’s 5-2-1 record sat one match behind BADTOP’s 6-1-1 record – with Tulsa losing one of those matches against the eventual champions. On June 4, 2022, Tulsa fell to BADTOP 2-1, in Oklahoma. That match, and a 1-0 away trip to FC Dallas three days prior, cost Tulsa SC another title.

Across two matches, the first and second-place sides had a draw and that 2-1 BADTOP win, setting another pair of battles between the clubs in 2023. It’s appropriate that the two teams garnering the most attention last season start the Red River Conference slate of games on May 24.

However, it doesn’t match up with a rivalry match. Tulsa is on a three-match winning streak against Oklahoma City FC, sweeping their neighbors in the 2022 season.

Overall, Tulsa has a 4-2-2 record against Oklahoma City FC and until last season no team had swept the season series. This season, Tulsa can add to that or watch out for Oklahoma City FC to even up the records.

On June 7 and June 21, watch out for the two Oklahoma sides of the Red River Conference to battle for 90 minutes.